China discusses worldwide use of local COVID-19 vaccines with WHO
China is trying to have its local COVID-19 vaccines examined by the World Health Organization (WHO), as a step toward making them available for global use.
Thousands of essential workers and other people who are considered to be at high risk in China have been given locally-developed vaccines although clinical trials had not been finalized, which has raised safety concerns among many experts.
WHO’s coordinator for essential medicines and health technologies in the Western Pacific region, Socorro Escalate, said at a news conference held online that China has had preliminary discussions with WHO in order to have its vaccines added onto a list for emergency global use.
The WHO’s emergency use listing procedure makes it possible for unlicensed vaccines and treatments to be examined to speed up their availability in public health emergencies. This is believed to help WHO member states and UN procurement agencies successfully determine the acceptability of the vaccines.
“Potentially through this emergency use listing, the quality and safety of these vaccines and efficacy could be assessed... and then this could be made available for our licensees,” Escalante remarked.
China possesses at least four experimental vaccines which are in the final stage of clinical trials.
So far, they have been tested in some countries such as Pakistan, Russia, and the United Arab Emirates.
Last month, the UAE allowed the emergency employment of a CNBG vaccine, which is the first international emergency clearance for one of China’s vaccines, only six weeks after human trials started in the Persian Gulf Arab state.
Rodrigo Duterte, the Philippines' President, stated last month that it would prioritize China and Russia in his country’s shopping for a COVID-19 vaccine.